1. Coalition building is defunct. It’s not that the issue doesn’t warrant debate, as international law is clear: Chemical weapons use is the highest form of state-sponsored criminality. It’s that this president has no legitimacy. Only France will follow along but only if we lead from the front. When was France a reliable ally since WWII?
2. The delay degrades effectiveness as Assad will integrate more forces and war-making equipment into populated areas, making “surgical” strikes far less capable to remove the threat of continued nerve agent use.
3. Syrian rebel forces are not peace-loving, moderate, democratically inclined people. They are just as bent on destroying Israel and Western culture as the current regime. Why intervene on replacing one enemy for another? This would not be a good precedent in American foreign affairs.
4. The British have done us some big favors. A) They have demonstrated to us how a government functions with swift consensual public debate and conclusion. Passing this up is in the best interest of British interest and they acted accordingly. There’s no gridlock in London when it comes to vital matters of national security. B) They have correctly deduced that supporting an ally with a historical penchant to act unilaterally would be dangerous. They will not be a part of the U.S., once again, sugar-coating their intent with a feigned call of enlightened collaboration. America is a war monger. Its world-wide peace-keeping mission is over. This is a marvelous opportunity for American retrospection on what its international profile should be if allies no longer fall into place on a meaningful level.
5. The United Nations is a puppet authority, with five permanent members — U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia, two of which harbor a perpetual anti-U.S. veto threat which preserves the bias of enemy states such as Iran and North Korea. This organization has ushered in a ‘70s- style “detente.” The organization has a legal responsibility to punish Assad for his crime, but it has no practical way to accomplish this. Therefore, without coalition forming and international oversight many nations are now left to their own devices to direct their own affairs. Assad places too much importance on the “ ... historic American retreat.” The United Nations and by implication the international community has abandoned the innocents of Syria.
In the meantime our only truly steadfast ally in the world is Israel. They will have the military resources to intervene if directly threatened, which I doubt they are, and we have the military power to contain the civil war combatants if they wanted to export their war.
Last time I checked Syria was embroiled in their own civil war. I wish them God Speed in resolution.
In the meantime without a functional Congress and respected president, the U.S. is well-advised to pass up on this one.
Joe D’Amore lives in Groveland.